Special Populations Collaborative

Effective Practices for Students with Disabilities

Los Angeles Pierce College – Instructional Services to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Los Angeles Pierce College: Instructional Services to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Norm Crozer, 818-710-4226 or crozernp@piercecollege.edu

Target population: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Goals: The primary goals of this practice are to insure that students who are deaf or hard of hearing are ready for mainstream English classes, other academic classes, and to assist these students to reason and think critically.

Description: With students who are not deaf or hard of hearing, a great deal of English is learned through listening to spoken language in the first five years of life. Non-hearing students do not have this opportunity. Based upon this, it is the program’s working assumption that many students will come to the college with an educational deficit; the program’s job is to identify the need, work to overcome the deficit, and allow the student to be successful in mainstream classes.

This DSPS program is based upon the computer software developed by Norm Crozer. The software allows students to repeat tasks and drill new concepts to insure complete assimilation. Norm Crozer developed the software when he became aware of a void in software that was subject-specific and user-friendly. The software allows for repetition, flexible time usage, trial and error, and learning through experience. Norm Crozer has developed seven computer programs including sentence writing, paragraph writing, proofreading, vocabulary development, and writing sentences for new vocabulary. On average students write for at least one hour twice a week in addition to having homework generated by the software. Students work primarily independently on lessons. When additional help is necessary, program staff assists the student.

The students tend to take two to three semesters of the classes depending on their own academic preparedness, comfort level, self-confidence etc. Students often enroll in both mainstream as well as the DSPS class concurrently during the third semester for additional reinforcement and personal support. The DSPS staff has found that students who have learning disabilities other than or in addition to being deaf or hard of hearing also benefit from using this software.

Staffing: There are approximately 30 staff in the DSPS program who serve approximately 800 students as interpreters, assistants, counselors, learning disabled advocates, etc.

Facilities, equipment, materials: There are a number of computers that the DSPS students have access to for the software usage.

Costs, funding source: Funding comes from the DSPS funding stream and is based upon each student and the type of disability he or she has. Due to the intensive services required through note taking, interpreting, etc. deaf and hard of hearing students use more than 50% of DSPS funds.

Outreach and marketing: To insure that students who can benefit from services offered, counselors do outreach in the high schools, attend community events, and work with area rehabilitation centers. There is also internal marketing in the mainstream campus materials.

Evidence of effectiveness: Evidence of effectiveness is found in the number of deaf and hard of hearing students transitioning into mainstream courses.

Suggestions for replication: While the programs themselves are not difficult, there is a degree of difficulty in teaching students who learn so differently from hearing students. Without additional training, mainstream teachers would find some difficulty in teaching this population. The computer programs are available to all colleges and staff is willing to conduct Train-the-Trainer workshops at colleges that wish to use the programs.